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Andonovski Calls in Colorado’s Finest to Fall USWNT Training Camp

Lady Yanks will face England and Spain this October

John Babiak

The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) announced its 24-player training camp roster ahead of two friendlies which will be played in London, England and Pamplona, Spain against England and Spain, as part of the team’s October European Tour.

Head Coach Vladko Andonovski announced the roster that includes CU Buffalo Taylor Kornieck and local Denver-Fort Collins products Lindsey Horan, Sophia Smith, and Mallory Pugh before his media conference. However, Kornieck was dropped from the roster due to an ankle injury, and she has been replaced by another Colorado kid, Jaelin Howell.

.On October 7, the Yanks will play against FIFA’s 4th ranked Lionesses at Wembley Stadium before a large audience. A capacity crowd of 80,000 fans is expected to attend the grudge match. The faceoff will mark the largest-ever assembly to watch Team USA in a friendly match and the second largest ever to watch the USWNT in any match behind only the 90,185 wild fans who filled the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.

“These are big tests for our team in front of crowds cheering against us and after long travel, but our players absolutely love games like these,” the skipper stated. “The group we are bringing to Europe includes players who have a lot of experience against top European teams and some that don’t, so these games are even more critical for our growth as our team. Our whole squad needs to get a clear picture of what these games are like as we continue to prepare for the World Cup.”

Following their game with England, the team will travel south to Spain and play a match against La Furia Roja on Tuesday, October 11, at El Sadar Stadium in historic Pamplona.

England and Spain have qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Andonovski said he will name 23 players to suit up for each of the matches.

Of note, Spain has excluded 17 of its best players from their upcoming camp roster. The players have protested their federation’s working conditions. They have stated that the current team environment has both emotionally and physically harmed them and that they will not train and play in such a setting.

In return, the called-out federation has publicly admonished the players in an attempt to embarrass them.

According to U.S. Soccer, eight of the 24 players on this roster were on the USA’s roster for the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, which marked the most recent meetings against both England and Spain. Alyssa Naeher, Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle, Colorado Rush Soccer Club’s Lindsey Horan, and Megan Rapinoe saw action in both matches. Real Colorado Soccer Club’s Mallory Pugh was on the tournament roster but did not see game action.

Twenty-two of the 24 players play in the National Women’s Soccer Leagues (NWSL), and nine of the 12 NWSL clubs are represented on this roster, along with 2021-22 UEFA Women’s Champions League winners Olympique Lyon, which features 118-capped veteran midfielder, Lindsey Horan.

Eighteen of the 24 players on this roster saw action in the USA’s most recent friendlies against Nigeria in early September in Kansas City, Kansas, and Washington D.C,

Pugh, Smith, Kornieck, and Horan all saw prime playing time during the friendlies with Nigeria. They have become mainstays in Andonovski’s most recent camps and figure to be in Andnovski’s 2023 World Cup team plans.

Pugh plays for the NWSL Chicago Red stars. She ranks fifth in the league with 10 goals and second with six assists. Smith is a member of the Portland Thorns. She is tied for second in the league with 12 goals. The 6’0’’ midfielder Kornieck has started in 17 of 18 games for the playoff-bound San Diego Wave FC.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position and Club – October European Tour:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

FORWARDS (6): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy)